Original German WWII M35 Single Decal Army Heer Helmet with Damaged 55cm Liner - stamped SE62

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very nice all original example of a German Model 35 Steel helmet, as issued to the Wehrmacht Heer (army). It shows lovely period service wear in the form of chipped paint and oxidation on the shell of the helmet. It most likely saw service for a long period, but does not appear to have been repainted at any point during the war, or after. This stamped sheet steel construction helmet retains 75% of its original paint, which actually looks to be early war Apfelgrün (apple green), replaced later by the more blue gray panzergrau (armor gray).

The left side of the helmet features a worn Heer eagle decal, which is retained about 75%, but does have wear through the top enamel layer, and also some chips. This has eroded the layer with the black pigment, so it's a bit faded, but has a patina that is impossible to duplicate. The use of the second decal had been discontinued in 1940, and in 1943 it was ordered that helmets with the national colors have them removed. It is very possible that this helmet originally had two decals, and then the second was removed. There are areas of rust speckling on areas of shell, inside and out. This is a very nice example of the M35 helmet, with a great service worn look that is impossible to duplicate.

The reverse, interior, neck guard apron is serial number stamped 358 and the interior, left side, apron has the faint stamped manufacturer's code and size, SE62 indicating that it was manufactured by Sächsische Emaillier und Stanzwerke A.G. of Lauter, Germany. Size 62 is a nice smaller size that can accommodate liners from 54cm to 55cm or US 6 3/4 to 6 5/8.

All three original liner retaining pins are present, with some of the original paint present on all of them. The interior of the helmet still has an original M31 leather liner present, however the leather is now dark brown and delicate, with numerous tears through the material. There are some portions missing, along with the top tie, and only 5 "fingers" are still present. The later war issue galvanized steel liner band is marked on the left outer side with 62 n.A. / 55, indicating that the liner band is a size 55, intended for a 62 shell. The right side displays the full manufacture information, as well as a date:

The other side of the band is marked with the Reichsbetriebsnummer (National Business Number) and date:

RBNr. 0/0256/0026

This is most likely not the first liner installed in this helmet, as it definitely is a later style example. Most likely the original liner deteriorated over time, as the smaller helmets were not issued as often, and had to be replaced.

Overall a very nice Service Worn M35 Single Decal Heer Army helmet, with loads of patina! M35 helmets of this quality are always the hardest to find on the market. This is an item that will only continue to appreciate in value over time.

The first "modern" steel helmets were introduced by the French army in early 1915 and were shortly followed by the British army later that year. With plans on the drawing board, experimental helmets in the field, ("Gaede" helmet), and some captured French and British helmets the German army began tests for their own steel helmet at the Kummersdorf Proving Grounds in November, and in the field in December 1915. An acceptable pattern was developed and approved and production began at Eisen-und Hüttenwerke, AG Thale/Harz, (Iron and Foundry Works), in the spring of 1916.

These first modern M16 helmets evolved into the M18 helmets by the end of WWI. The M16 and M18 helmets remained in usage through-out the Weimar Reichswehr, (National Defence Force, Circa 1919-1933), era and on into the early years of the Third Reich until the development of the smaller, lighter M35 style helmet in June 1935.

In 1934 tests began on an improved Stahlhelm, whose design was a development of World War I models. The Eisenhüttenwerke company of Thale carried out prototype design and testing, with Dr. Friedrich Schwerd once again taking a hand.

The new helmet was pressed from sheets of molybdenum steel in several stages. The size of the flared visor and skirt was reduced, and the large projecting lugs for the obsolete armor shield were eliminated. The ventilator holes were retained, but were set in smaller hollow rivets mounted to the helmet's shell. The edges of the shell were rolled over, creating a smooth edge along the helmet. Finally, a completely new leather suspension, or liner, was incorporated that greatly improved the helmet's safety, adjustability, and comfort for each wearer. These improvements made the new M1935 helmet lighter, more compact, and more comfortable to wear than the previous designs.

The Army's Supreme Command officially accepted the new helmet on June 25, 1935 and it was intended to replace all other helmets in service.

The M1935 design was slightly modified in 1940 to simplify its construction, the manufacturing process now incorporating more automated stamping methods. The principal change was to stamp the ventilator hole mounts directly onto the shell, rather than utilizing separate fittings. In other respects, the M1940 helmet was identical to the M1935. The Germans still referred to the M1940 as the M1935, while the M1940 designation were given by collectors.

The last wartime upgrade to the standard helmet took place on 6 July 1942 at the request of the Army High Command. The rolled edge found on M1935 and M1940 helmets was discontinued as a measure of economy. On 1 August 1942 the first M1942 helmets were placed into production, and this was the model produced until late in the war, when most factories were captured or stood idle due to material shortages.

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